For the last five years I have worked on water issues for CEC. This work typically takes the form of long meetings, trips around the state for more meetings, days at the legislature and conference calls (a lot of conference calls). In short: it isn’t super glamorous and only underscores my yearning to be out on our rivers and streams. While all of us here at CEC try to make time to get out and really experience Colorado by hiking, fishing, camping and biking there is really no better way to experience our rivers than by floating down them. Two weeks ago, for the third year we teamed up with our partners at The Wilderness Society and with Friends of the Yampa (FotY) to float Little Yampa and Juniper Canyons. After doing this trip last year it took me all of about thirty seconds to commit to going along again this year. It was a great couple of days of “work” to say the least.
This year brought record snowpack for the Yampa basin, which translates into a big year ahead for spring runoff. We caught the early part of this runoff for a great float. The pace of a river trip allows you to really soak up the surroundings and this trip was the perfect way to slip into the summer season. Our group of nearly 20 spent three days and two nights soaking up the river from the rich, silty water to the hillsides green from spring storms and the abundant birds and wildlife. We floated along almost 60 miles of the river, through stretches which have been identified as “suitable” for a Wild and Scenic River designation. This finding of suitability means the Bureau of Land Management has inventoried the river and found that it has a number of “Outstandingly, Remarkable Values”. The float was organized by CEC and our partners to help educate people about the stunning resources we have in our own backyard. This is a great trip for avid boaters and beginners alike and is great for families!
As part of the Yampa River Awareness Project (YRAP) several members of FotY were along to document the river and all the fun there is to be had. Check out the video below to learn more about the Yampa and see some of great footage from our trip!
I had the luxury of just showing up for this trip, but a great deal of planning went into it, so I owe a HUGE thank you to Luke Schafer in CEC’s Craig office, Soren Jespersen of The Wilderness Society and Kent Vertrees with the YRAP and FotY! Thanks for a great float- I can’t wait for next year!
Watch the video! Little Yampa Canyon- Wild & Scenic